October 10, 2008 #050 - Mosquitos

Here in the Midwest, at least at my observing location a biblical plague is upon us! The hurricane passed through in September dropping up to 12" of rain here in the lower great lakes region. This has produced blood suckers in clouds. I would estimate 5 anopheles, all biting females, per cubic foot of air. My record so far has been 7 killed with two slaps! I even considered cutting a hole in a mosquito net to stick the eyepiece through. Needless to say the sky is off limits till a good killing frost hits.

As a consolation for very little observation time, Mercury Messenger has returned some spectacular views on it second flyby. If you haven't seen them by all means take a look. Imagine what we will see when it goes into orbit in 2011.

The other story I have been following was the photographic capture and atmospheric entrance of the 3 to 15 foot Asteroid 2008 TC3 over Africa a few days ago. That must have been a spectacular sight. Most meteors are only the size of a grain of sand. It is amazing that even non professionals are able to catch photos at such short notice. Hope they didn't have to contend with the mosquitos maybe they used one of those remote control observatories! Perhaps I should look into that when my wife wins the lottery.

Clear Sky - Rich

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